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Security forces kill at least 60 as protests engulf Chad

N’Djamena – N’Chadian security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the country’s two largest cities on Thursday, killing at least 60, a government spokesman and morgue official said.

Authorities have imposed a curfew following violence during demonstrations in the Central African country against the two-year extension of interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby’s power.

Thursday’s unrest was unprecedented in Chad, where the previous government of Debbie’s father, who ruled for more than 30 years until his assassination last year, saw little public dissent.

France, the African Union and others were quick to condemn the security crackdown on the demonstrators.

Samira Dowd, Amnesty International’s regional director for West and Central Africa, called on Chadian authorities to “immediately cease the use of excessive force against protesters.”

“Authorities must take swift steps to investigate and bring those responsible for the unlawful killings to justice,” she said.

Chadian government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh said 30 people had died in the capital, N’Djamena. But the organizers of the march had increased the toll to 40, and many were wounded by bullets.There was no independent confirmation of the figures given by both sides.

An additional 32 protesters were killed in Mundou, Chad’s second-largest city, according to city morgue officials. More than 60 people were injured, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter was sensitive.

Other protests took place in the southern Chad towns of Doba and Cerf.

These were the deadliest anti-government protests since Debbie took office after her father’s assassination 18 months earlier. The late President Idris Deby Itno was killed by rebels in April 2021 while visiting Chadian forces on battlefields in the north of the country, officials said.

Overwhelmed doctors tended to scores of people with gunshot wounds at the main reference hospital in the capital, N’Djamena. Witnesses said some of the wounded were taken to Liberty Hospital in military vehicles, where they appeared to have been tortured.

Witnesses said demonstrators began whistling throughout the capital, N’Djamena, at 3am. Police fired tear gas at the crowd, but the crowd continued to advance and grew in number. That’s when security forces opened fire, and amid tear gas, demonstrators struggled to collect the dead from the scene.

Among those killed was Narcisse Oleget, a Chadian journalist who worked for CEFOD radio and was hit by a bullet.

Amnesty International said this was not the first time Chadian security forces had opened fire on civilians, citing two other incidents in 2022 and 2021.

Such public dissent was unprecedented under Debbie’s father’s rule, but there have been several demonstrations since his son became interim leader. rice field.

Mahamat Idriss Deby was declared head of state after his father’s death instead of following the line of succession in the Chadian constitution. Opposition parties at the time called the extradition a coup, but later agreed to accept Debbie as interim leader for 18 months.

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Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/world/2022/10/20/security-forces-kill-at-least-60-as-protests-engulf-chad/ Security forces kill at least 60 as protests engulf Chad

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